Devotion is love, loyalty or enthusiasm for a person, activity or cause. People are devoted to many things in their lives. However, it is important to remember to be devoted to yourself just as much as you are devoted to others. This lesson gives a real-life example of a woman who was a devoted teacher. It helps girls understand the importance of devotion and how to incorporate the character trait into their lives and relationships.
Devotion is commitment to someone or something. It dances in grace. It appears soft and light, but it can be a very gritty character trait. It demands focused work, clarity of thought, determination, raw honesty, self-care and discipline.
Think of a mother awake through the night caring for her sick child, the shelter volunteer who spends every spare moment with the animals, a music student practicing on the piano for hours to perfect her solo. All these scenarios wither away without devotion. It takes work to care; it takes heart to care. Being devoted to something is the hard choice.
Everyone has a purpose in this life. It could be helping the needy, curing illness, raising a family, empowering others. Devotion gives life meaning. A life devoid of devotion is a life lived devoid of emotion.
Devotion requires courage and empathy, as well as self-care and grace. Its lesson is that, in order to help others, one must first believe in her abilities. Without self-love, one cannot fully love others. Devotion is a steep investment of heart, belief and commitment. When it is given fully—the rewards are undeniable. It is a gritty choice with a graceful outcome.
Why We Chose Anne Sullivan
Anne Sullivan was a devoted teacher. She gave so much of herself to Helen, however, she was also devoted to herself. She reminds girls that they can be devoted to something without sacrificing their whole selves for it. You can keep part of your spirit for yourself.
Anne also teaches us that sometimes, our devoted hours of work, may go unnoticed. We hear a lot about Helen Keller, but very little about Anne. It is important that our girls also understand not everyone gets the limelight. While Anne taught Helen many things, it was Helen whom people wanted to see. Anne’s work was the foundation on which Helen stood; she remained in the background. However, the background work is just as important as the work that is seen. The songwriter we don’t see is just as important as the singer we do see. In fact, without the songwriter, there would be no songs!
Anne was a strong woman who did quiet work. She was humble, but she was also proud of herself. While her devotion to one person may seem small, the changes she made in that person’s life were huge, and her contributions continue to inspire us today.
Table of Contents
Section 1: Preparatory Reading
Introduction from Heather Stark: Why Sarah Grimké?
The Journey of Sarah Grimké’s Life
Character Trait: Authenticity
Section 2: Group Activity Guide
Activity Booklet (Reading Section)
Activity Booklet (Question Section) & Biography Workbook
Section 3: Closing Discussion Guide
Closing Discussion Questions